Nigerian singer and mother of two Omawumi is gorgeous on the cover for the latest issue of Guardian Life magazine. In her chat with the magazine, the songstress speaks on life after Idols West Africa, combining motherhood and music, her Oma brand and lots more.
On life after Idols West Africa:
To be honest I didn’t even expect to get this far, I am not trying to be modest but it’s just that sometimes you just have to be grateful for every opportunity that you get. I didn’t think that I was going to be able to make it this far because even if I was a product of a reality show that was very big, there were also people who are also products of these reality shows that haven’t done so well so time and chance happens to us all. I just take what I can in gratefulness.
On if becoming a mother and building a family has made her look at her career differently:
Yes! I won’t lie. It is a very difficult choice to make but you have to make that choice. Most people find a beautiful balance, especially when money dey many and I pray that God gives me the room to get that kind of balance. As a mother, it changed my reasoning, there are some people that will disagree with what I am saying and say “No, because you are a mother doesn’t mean that you should cool down, you should go twice as hard”. See someone like Beyoncé, it doesn’t stop her from being a great mom but I am of the opinion that at some point music is as I feel it.
I have not really changed my sound, I have one or two upbeat songs that will put you in that place but Omawumi will always bring out songs that will make you ask, what was she thinking? Where was she going with this? It is always songs that will make you question yourself and definitely good music that can stand the test of time.
So yeah! It did change me with sense of my honesty with regards to my music, I decided that I can go into the studio and churn out hits all the time but the ideal thing to do is to make sure that your fans know the truth about your style, about your music, what you feel inside and then you put it out there so that the honesty of your sound will shine through.
On if motherhood changed the perception of her brand:
Do what you feel, bottom line. Like me now I used to wear questionable outfits before, sometimes once I bend like this bum-bum don show. To be fair, I still wear these things and I still climb on stage with them but I have to look at my body shape and make sure it is beautiful and flattering because there is a thin line between sexy and trashy.
I am trying to be sexy, I’m trying not to be trashy. It’s not like because I am a mother and I am a married woman I will now cover my whole body, it doesn’t have to be that, but at least you go do with self-respect. Not because of what people are going to say about you because no matter what you do they will always talk, but because of how you feel about yourself so even if you want to be trashy and you feel good about your trashy omo carry on! No hating, do what you want to do.
On who she considers competition in the music industry:
There is competition in the sense of popularity, what some people regard as “success”, that zeal and the desire to be called number one. Been there done that, I have the T-shirt ironed in my house and I am looking at it. I have come to find out that it is not as fantastic as it is made out to be. I would love to be number one if there is any such thing but at the same time no be because of say I wan chop meat I go come call cow egbon.
Sometimes it just boils down to what you’re doing, how you’re doing it and if you are happy doing what you are doing because every month, I can keep churning out hits, pulling that kind of force which is very good but there is also a downside to it that most people don’t know about, the demand is more, the attention on you becomes more and I wish there was a way that I could get that attention without all that backlash involved. In order not to digress from the question, there is competition but technically, I don’t really have any competition.
On her passion for empowering other women in music and signing them to her record label:
It is something I have been doing, I have a record label called Oma Records. I am very finicky about the kind of artists that I want to put on my label because you cannot market what you are not passionate about. I am a little bit of a hard nut to crack but I promise you when I see the people that my heart appeals to then it will happen sooner than yesterday.
Other things that I do as an artist is that I have a corporate social responsibility(CSR), I always like having conversations with up and coming female artists to nudge them in the right direction and also have conversations with women in general. I have an NGO called Little House of No Regrets. It is more like having a roundtable for women, like AA for women, we have an in-house counselor for women and we can connect you to other NGOS that can answer to your specific needs.